Place this on Layaway for Holiday Arrival! Oh, I have longed for this very Vintage Native American Sand Cast Sterling and Turquoise Bracelet to fit me. Alas! I shall never be that small again. The bracelet combines massive design elements and a truly feminine lacey open feel. It is so gorgeous in both its presentation and in the deliciously deep color of the natural Kingman turquoise stone. We purchased this Native American handmade artisan piece from the Hubbell Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation in the mid-1980s, and at that time it was dead pawn, sold to us as being made by the Navajo and estimated to have been made in the 1940s - 1950s. Of course, like most early pieces it is neither signed nor marked with silver content on the inside of the bracelet. There is no doubt that it is heavy sandcast sterling, and no doubt of the traditional Navajo style. This was not a mass-produced-on-assembly-line fabrication for the tourist trade; it is a handmade work of art in which the natural turquoise stone is hand cut and polished, and hand set in a hand cut sterling silver bezel. Current Federal law prohibits mentioning the tribal name on any unsigned jewelry. Pieces made in this era were usually unsigned. The piece exhibits exceptional craftsmanship. It is a glorious, substantial, show-stopping and heavy, vintage Native American pawn silver and turquoise bracelet that was purchased in the Navajo Reservation by a trading post well versed in Navajo jewelry and was sold as such. The intricate detail in the sandcast sterling silver enhances the natural patina surrounding the massive hand cut Turquoise Stone. Of course, the matrix and color variation of the natural stone is breathtaking. The bracelet is in great condition~ the stone is secure in its hand set bezel setting. The bracelet has an interesting feature: a definite "N" incised mark is found in the join portion of the bezel. This may be the artist mark, or it may be for Navajo. The interior bracelet measures five and one quarter inches (5 1/4") and the opening is approximately one and one quarter inches ( 1 1/4"). The turquoise cabachon stone is hand cut, and sits high in its bezel. It is approximately three quarters of an inch (3/4") long. The bracelet is a splendid and showy approximately two inches wide (2"). Due to the thick and heavy construction of the bracelet, it should not be attempted to crimp or stretch the bracelet to try to resize it; it may well break if that is done. It is a heavy piece and was long ago tested to insure the sterling silver. We have left the old patina and tarnish as we found it, and I have occasionally worn it that way for decades, til it no longer fit. It's in good condition with no cracked or chipped stones. The stone is very firmly fitting within the bezel. We chose not to clean this awesome SOUTHWEST OLD PAWN piece to protect the natural patina. As it is, the bracelet is breathtaking, either worn or displayed.
We guarantee all our items to be authentic. Due to our items being antique, vintage and pre-owned, there could be and there often is light wear. We try to describe items to the best of our ability, but please review photos and ask any additional questions prior to purchasing.
WHAT IS DEAD PAWN?
For the Southwestern Native American, of such tribes as Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Pueblo, pawn refers to the practice of converting art and other intrinsically valuable possessions into income for life's necessities. Pawn can be items from antiquity, such as heirloom pieces of handmade jewelry or crafts that are passed from a family to become pawn and hence into the public marketplace. Because most pawned merchandise is of necessary value in the seller's life, the percentage of pawn that goes unredeemed is quite small, reportedly about five percent.
Merchandise that remains unredeemed in a pawn shop after loan expiration is known as "dead pawn," and items of dead pawn are among the most highly valued Native American artifacts to be found on the open market.
Some pieces of dead pawn are antique or old, while other pieces have been pawned by the ORIGINAL ARTIST or by others, in an unused state. It is difficult to tell the age of a piece of jewelry, but some indicators are "wear and tear," evidence of continued previous polishing, the style of the setting, or style of the piece itself, the type of stone or material used in the settings.
Please Note: The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 is Federal Law. If the piece is unsigned - or signed such that a particular artist cannot be identified, so the tribe that the artist or artisan belongs to cannot be CORRESPONDINGLY identified, then the Law requires that -even though one may know the style and elements and type, and that the ways and means in which it is made definitely identifies the article as of a particular tribe- the piece cannot be identified as being a particular tribal piece, say of the Hopi or Zuni or Navajo tribe- but one can say it is similar to or same as or in the style of a tribe- So for my jewelry that was purchased much pre-1990, either from artisans on the Reservations, or from galleries or trading posts on Reservations- I can give that purchase location information.Further, the law applies whether the piece was made in 1890, 1990 or 2009. If it is unmarked, or the artist mark does not indicate a particular tribal affiliation, I can say it looks like a particular tribe and in what ways I feel this is so- but I cannot say it IS a particular tribe. That breaks the Federal Law and is a highly sensitive issue with Native American peoples. I am neither a lawyer nor a Federal Agent, but I am respectful of Native American Indian peoples and maintain the integrity of my shop by complying with all known laws.
Any other accessory items used for display are not included in this offering, unless otherwise specified.
As always, THANK YOU for visiting our shop!
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Patra Madden's UNDER THE LILACS Antique Dolls, Antiques & Vintage Native American Jewelry, Fine & Folk Art